Updates of the Reading and Working Variety

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Hello, lovelies! 😀 Despite my recent absence, I swear I have not been eaten by monsters. (Not yet anyway.) Halloween is slowly creeping up though, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? 😛 I’ve just been insanely busy lately. A lot of it due to work. I still love my jobs though, so it’s all worth it. I just need to learn to manage my time and perhaps do more multitasking so I can have a wee bit more free time to do some of the things I enjoy (like blogging with all you awesome folks!) ❤

August has been an incredibly busy month, but it’s been a good one. It seems to be a big month for parties. I got to go visit Cupcakes and Machetes for her housewarming party earlier in the month and that was a lot of fun. My work just had their 25th anniversary Luau party yesterday. I baked some strawberry cupcakes with cheesecake mousse topping and they were a hit. 🙂 Aaaand my dad’s birthday is at the end of the month, so my mom and I are making him lemon cream puffs (his request), an awesome dinner, and spoiling him with presents (several of which are Guardians of the Galaxy related).

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I haven’t had nearly any time to read this month but I am squeezing in a few minutes of reading here and there where I can fit it in. This usually results in me being super grumpy when I’m really interested in what I’m reading at the time and have to put the damn book down. lol So infuriating. I’ve started Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn.

Though I’m not as far along in either of these stories as I’d like to be by now, I am enjoying them both. 🙂 Laini Taylor really does have a way with words, so it’s been awesome returning to her writing since it’d been a while. Aside from her writing style itself, I greatly enjoy her imagination. She’s so creative with her stories.

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Laini Taylor, pink-haired bad ass writer of books.

I feel like a lot of you already know about Strange the Dreamer, but for those of you who might not yet, here’s a quick blurb on what it’s all about:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

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Emilie Autumn, Singer/Writer/Violinist/Actress/Etc. Etc.

I’ve been a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music and poems for a while now, and this book of hers was on my TBR list for quite some time but A.) it was difficult to find B.) it was pretty damn pricey, so alas, it stayed put on my TBR list all this time. Buuuuut, it did recently get released on the kindle for a very reasonable price so I bought that baby right up! 🙂 Here’s a quick blurb regarding The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls:

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open. As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats talk. But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?
The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

So, those are my little updates. Do you have any of your own? Lemme know, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to catch up on reading everyone’s fantastic blogs, but I’m a bit behind right now, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting new news and whatnot you’ve got going on! Also, it’s Friiiiidayyyyyy!!! Have a great weekend, everybody!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Fight Like a YA Girl Book Tag

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Books and wine make an excellent pairing, and this is something proven frequently over at the YA and Wine blog where you can find awesome wines to go with awesome books, fantastic reviews, and exciting posts about book/author-related events. I was thrilled to be tagged for Krysti’s newly created book tag about the many types of kick-ass ladies in literature. Big thanks to her for tagging me to do this awesome new tag! Now, let the ass-kickery begin!

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

WARRIOR GIRLS:

Okay, it’s been a very LONG time since I read this book, but I’m going with the Slayer (named Sophie) from Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row (A Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel). Slayers are total warrior girls! 🙂

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR MIND:

How could I not choose Hermione Granger for this category? I mean, c’mon, she was the brightest witch of her age. 😉

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR HEART:

Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou has a lot of heart, and love plays a large part in her story.

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GIRLS WHO ARE TRAINED FIGHTERS:

Virginia au Augustus (aka: Mustang) from the Red Rising trilogy. I nearly picked her for the “girls who fight with their mind” category since she is known to be highly intelligent, but she is also trained to fight with more than just her mind so here she goes!

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STRONG GIRLS OF COLOR:

Inej Ghafa (aka- “The Wraith”) from Six of Crows. She’s strong in every sense of the word, and she’s one of the many reasons I can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom!

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT TO SURVIVE:

Temple from The Reapers are the Angels. She’s grown up in a tough, zombie-filled world, and she’s never known anything else.

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GIRLS WHO ARE WEAPONS MASTERS:

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy. Total pro with that bow and arrows. I wanted to list Inej and her trusty blades again for this, but I’m mixing it up with another girl and another type of weapon instead. 😛

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Fan art of Katniss by Me

GIRLS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO GENDER ROLES:

Okay, this series isn’t YA, but the young-but-fierce Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire immediately came to mind, so she’s who I’m going with. 😀

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GIRLS WITH KICK-BUTT MAGICAL POWERS:

Nina Zenik from Six of Crows. She’s part of the Corporalki order of the Grisha (a heartrender, to be exact), which means she has the ability to snatch the air from your lungs or even stop your heart if you’re in her line of sight.

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STRONG GIRLS IN CONTEMPORARY NOVELS:

Honestly, this isn’t really an area of reading I’ve explored, so I’m stumped for an answer. Here’s a cute puppy instead!

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SERIOUSLY FIERCE GIRLS:

Isabelle Rossignol from The Nightingale. This book really isn’t strictly YA, but I feel like Isabelle’s half of the story could be considered YA, and she becomes one hell of a fierce girl. Not through brawn, but through her determination and spirit.

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MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK WITH A STRONG LEADING LADY:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer! I can’t wait for this one to come out. 🙂

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So, ladies & gents, there we have it. 😀 This tag was a lot of fun, so I’m tagging each and every one of you!! Let’s spread this tag like wildfire and promote the hell out of some badass ladies in fiction! Have a great weekend, folks! ❤

Writer’s Guilt

Oof! You know how sometimes you’re reading a book and you come across a point that makes you have to stop and process what you just read because it was like a punch to the heart?

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Well, this is where I must ask those of you who also write, do you ever feel like this after you’ve written a certain scene in your own story? Do you ever feel writer’s guilt or remorse for the things you put your characters through? I know they’re fictional, but it’s amazing how you can come to care for them, just like the characters you read about in other people’s books. Or am I just a weirdo? 😛

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Necro Rhino Writing Update: Week One

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So, I’m a week into my “Necro Rhino” 30 day writing challenge and am still chugging along at a good pace. 🙂 I was hoping to finish today with at least 11,662 words and I am just 829 words shy at the moment, with hours to go until my day comes to an end.

I’ve really embraced the fact that first drafts are not meant to be perfect and it’s helping me gain the forward momentum in my writing that I had hoped for. I’d love to walk out of this writing challenge with my 50,000 words (or more if I’m lucky) and have something I can craft into an actual novel. Once I get to that point I will worry, fuss, and edit my little heart out, but for now I’m just writing and embracing the chaos!

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I’ll admit, the story is changing a lot from what I originally envisioned, but I’m excited about the direction it’s heading. It’s also getting easier to write as I embrace the changes instead of stubbornly trying to hold onto the original picture I had in mind. I’m looking forward to seeing where it finally winds up once I’ve finished.

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Writing Inspiration: Laini Taylor Style

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Sound writing advice from the pink-haired badass author that is none other than Laini Taylor.

Definitely gonna try to keep these words in mind as I continue my 30 day writing binge. So far I’m off to a good start. I hoped to achieve 3,336 words by the end of day two and I did it! I even went for extra credit points with an additional 143 words! 😛

 

Return of the Necro Rhino!!

*Cue spooky music*

 

Okay, I’ll admit, perhaps that wasn’t the spookiest choice of music. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. But why the spooky music in the first place, you ask?? Because, today marks what I’m morbidly dubbing: The Return of the Necro Rhino!! Aka: Me not waiting until November to try again at NaNoWriMo’s (National Novel Writing Month) goal of writing 50,000 words in the span of 30 days.

The whole Necro Rhino thing is a play on words because my boyfriend and I refer to NaNoWriMo as “Nano Rhino“, as in “a very tiny rhinoceros” after he misheard me when I first told him I was participating in last year’s NaNoWriMo challenge and thought I’d said “Nano Rhino challenge”. This also resulted in us going on a very last minute, but very determined, shopping adventure at our local mall to find a tiny rhinoceros figurine to be my little mascot. This was not as easy to find as one would think, but after four stores we found a toy kit of assorted African animals, and it thankfully had two very small rhinos in it. I keep one at my place, and the other at his. They serve as my writing mascots (and reminders) because I am ridiculous like that. No shame here, folks. Since I didn’t make my goal back in November, I consider this second attempt to be the resurrection of the Nano Rhino, hence why it is now a Necro Rhino. That and I’m a silly girl who likes horror too much.

Anyway, I keep a dry erase board mounted on the wall next to my desk and I always update it with my monthly goals I wish to accomplish. Today I drew a freshly resurrected zombie rhino rising from the grave to mark this return to the madness that is NaNoWriMo. On a side note I google’d “Beast Boy rhino” hoping for drawing inspiration since his rhino form is green like a zombie rhino would be. Seems innocent enough, right? Well, the internet being what it is, I proceeded to have to scrub my eyeballs with bleach due to some fan art someone posted of Starfire and Beast Boy (in his damn rhino form) participating in some seriously cringe-inducing activities with one another.

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So, now that I’ve no doubt seared that awful image into your brain, let’s continue, shall we? I know it’s not November, so it isn’t the official month or anything, but I’m using the next 30 days to try to attempt to write the 50,000 word goal just as I would if I waited for November to roll back around. That means I need to write at least 1,666 word each day. I’ll update my progress here throughout the month and still try to blog regular posts as much as I can, but please bare with me this month if my posts happen to be fewer and farther between. I really want to give this my all and make that 50,000 words happen this time!

This was all a very spur of the moment decision this morning when I was figuring out my writing goals for the month, but I hope to make the most of it!  🙂 Do you have any particular writing goals for yourself this month? Or do you prefer to wing it and let it happen as it happens? What is your biggest writing motivation? Best of luck to each of you with this months creative writing/blogging/reviews/etc. ❤

Happy 125th Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

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An entire century (and a quarter of another) have now passed since the birth of this fantastic man, and his works are still spreading the love of fantasy to new readers, and inspiring writers, each and every year.

In his 81 years on this planet he accomplished a lot, and left an impact that still thrives even in his absence. Widely considered to be the “father” of modern fantasy literature, he left behind one hell of a legacy. So, Happy Birthday, Mr. Tolkien. You may not have surpassed the Old Took in age like Bilbo did, but your works continue to live on and bring joy to countless readers, so in that way, you truly are immortal.

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